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Most of the venues for the Olympic Games are 95% ready: GNOC’s safe de mission

Sep 5, 2011, 1:40 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb & Fatoumatta Jawara

The Gambia National Olympic Committee’s safe de mission for London 2012 Olympic Games,  Momodou Demba, who recently returned from England after attending the safe de mission meeting with colleagues from other parts of the world, has said that most of the venues for the Olympic Games are 95% ready.

He said that when the games are approaching they (the safe de missions) have to gather to discuss modalities of the games regarding accreditation, sports entries, ticketing, among other things.

The meeting was very successful because they went round (venue tour) to see the venues, he said, adding that most of them are almost ready except the water pool venue, which is yet to be stated.

“We are told that by mid next year everything would be ready,” he said, adding that the swimming pool is okay.

He added that for the football, they would use stadiums like Manchester, Coventry, Classford and Oxford, noting that they are only building one new stadium (the Olympic stadium), where the opening and closing ceremonies will take place.

“Olympic Games is all about qualification and we hope Beach Volleyball will qualify when they come back from the All Africa Games,” he said. “It is fortunate that All Africa Games are for qualification.”

Mr Demba added: “The Ministry of Youths and Sports, it’s unfortunate, could take only few of these athletes to the All Africa Games and the saddest thing is the Paralympics, whose last stage of qualification should have been done at the All Africa Games but I understand they are dropped and I don’t know why they are dropped and that means all their efforts have just gone astray like that.”

He went on: “I am happy to tell you that one of our athletes, Suwaibou Conateh, has already qualified for the Olympic Games, London 2011.

“Let’s only hope for the best that The Gambia will have two or three qualifiers for the Olympic Games.”

He said they also had a meeting on the Olympic Games that is to take place in next year’s Ramadan month. “These people have recommendations, observations, reservations and plans ahead if the games have to take place during the month of Ramadan,” he said, adding that if the games are to take place in Ramadan, “food will be purposely reserved for those who will be fasting and the praying place will also be there for them”.